IDEA Complaint Decision 02-054

On October 2, 2002 (letter dated September 19), the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Oshkosh Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district:

  • properly responded to a parent's request, in September 2002, for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting and for a functional behavioral assessment for her son; and
  • implemented the student's April 2002 IEP requiring staff to contact the parent in response to specified student behavior.

The parent alleges that the district did not hold an IEP team meeting to review her child's IEP prior to the beginning of the school year as the parents had requested. In a statement to the department, the district affirmed that the parents requested an IEP team meeting at the April 2002, IEP team meeting, which would occur prior to the next school year. However, staff members responsible for the child's IEP left the district prior to the new school year and the request for an IEP team meeting was not communicated to the new staff. The parents contacted the principal in late August and early September to request an IEP team meeting. The district stated that this issue was addressed at an IEP team meeting held on October 9. The department has determined that the district did not ensure an IEP team meeting was held in a timely manner in response to the parents' April 15 request for a meeting prior to the beginning of the school year. However, the district did convene an IEP team meeting shortly after the beginning of the school year; therefore, no child-specific corrective action is required. The district also informed the LEA representatives and the principals of the requirement that staff respond to parent requests for IEP team meetings by either scheduling meetings at mutually agreed on times or providing written notice to the parents of their refusal, including an explanation of the reasons for the refusal. Therefore, the department will not require further corrective action with regard to this issue.

The parent also alleges that the district failed to honor their request for a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) on September 2, 2002. The district maintains that the special education teacher conducted the FBA during September as requested by the parents. The teacher reviewed existing records and observed the student in his classroom. An IEP team meeting was held on October 9 to discuss the results of the FBA and to review the existing behavioral intervention plan (BIP). The district correctly implemented the legal requirements related to conducting an FBA.

The parent contends that the school staff did not contact them when their child engaged in behavior as specified in the April 15 IEP. This IEP states in the BIP that the parents will be contacted when "noncompliance due to frustration" occurs. The district acknowledges that this provision was written into the BIP and that it was not consistently implemented by those responsible for the child's IEP. This issue was addressed at the October 9 IEP team meeting. The department concludes that while the district did not contact the parents when their child engaged in behavior as specified on the April 15 IEP, it did correct its action by convening an IEP team meeting to address and clarify the parents' request to be contacted when the child engages in behavior as indicated in the BIP, and thus no further child-specific corrective action is required. The district also held an in-service to ensure that staff understand the requirement related to implementation of services consistent with a child's needs set forth in the BIP as stated within an IEP. No further corrective action is required for this issue.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed CST 1/13/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/svb
For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720